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Dmitry Volkov (entrepreneur)

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Dmitry Volkov
Dmitry Borisovich Volkov

(1976-07-09) 9 July 1976 (age 47)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Occupation(s)entrepreneur, investor, philosopher, member of modern art community

Dmitriy Borisovich Volkov (born 9 July 1976 in Moscow) is an entrepreneur and philosopher[1] He co-founded Social Discovery Group (SDGroup), an international internet holding with headquarters in Malta, and сo-owns Dating Group.[2][3]

In 2016, he founded SDG Arts and Science Foundation.[4]

He holds a PhD in philosophy and co-founded the Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies (MCCS) at the Philosophy Department of Moscow State University.[5][6][7]


In 1998, Volkov founded IT-online, a company specializing in developing and promoting online projects.[8]

In 2014, SDGroup, an internet holding company, was founded along with foreign partners. It consolidated Volkov's assets after the sale of IT-Online. The headquarters of SDGroup is located in Malta.[6]

Since 2013 and through SDGroup Volkov invested about $20 million in Bitfury, a blockchain software and hardware developer.[9]

In April 2018, Dmitriy Volkov and Yuriy Gurskiy joined the Managing Board of the Gagarin Capital venture fund owned by Nikolay Davidov and Mikhail Taver. In 2019, Dmitriy sold a part of his intellectual property to the management company for $215 million and acquired a share in Dating Group, a joint venture. Dating Group is one of the biggest companies in the industry, with 73 million registered users and an annual revenue of $200 million.[10][11] The Dating Group includes Dating.com, Cupid Media, AnastasiaDate, AsianDate, ArabianDate, AfricaBeauties, AmoLatina, EuroDate, YourChristianDate, DateMyAge and ChinaLove.[12][13][14] In 2021, Dating Group acquired Once, the Swiss dating app.[15]

The dating.com group appears in the ICIJ offshore leaks database.[16]

The holding company also owns a real estate fund, Real Estate Discovery Ventures (REDV). As of 2019, the estimated fund value is $198 million. The fund mainly focuses on the US shopping malls.[17][18]

Since 2001, Dmitriy Volkov has been a member of the Project Management Institute community and since 2006, a member of the Usability Professional Association. Dmitry completed Executive Education programs at Harvard Business School and the University of California, Berkeley.[19] He is a partner of several international funds, for example, Blockchain Capital and Mangrove Capital Partners.[20]

In February 2022, Dmitry Volkov ceased any operations in Russia and Belarus and discontinued registering new users from either country to the Social Discovery Group's portfolio of platforms.[21]

Art activity[edit]

In the spring of 2015, Volkov assisted in publishing a series of art books "Contemporary Art" dedicated to the modern Russian artists, and their role in the context of the development of Russian and global culture. He performed and held several art events together with Oleg Kulik, a modern artist and a performer, including "Strict Proof of an External World" in the spring of 2015. In the summer of 2015, he organized an expedition of Social Discovery Group employees to Burning Man, where he presented the result of his latest project with Oleg Kulik – the installation "Oraculetang".[22][23][24][25][26]

In September 2015 Volkov arranged a pop-up exhibition of modern technological art "Superconduction: challenge of art & technology" in Riga.[27]

From 1 January 2016 to 2017, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Tretyakov Gallery Support Fund. On 15 April 2016, a new exhibition, "Modern Art: 1960–2000. Restart,” was launched in Tretyakov Gallery with his contribution.[28]

In 2016–2017, the fund partnered with the grant program of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art that awards grants to young artists of "Art and technology", and Dmitriy became the museum patron till 2021.[29]

In September 2016, during the exhibition "Collection! Modern Art in the USSR and Russia in 1950–2000" he presented the Parisian Centre Pompidou with a piece by Sergey Bugaev-Afrika.[30][31][32][33]

In 2017, Business Insider named "Aliens? — Yes!", the collaboration of Dmitriy Volkov and the artist Andrey Bartenev, one of the best scenes of the Burning Man festival in Nevada, USA.[34][35]

In May 2019, Dmitriy Volkov and media artists Natalia Altufova and Yaroslav Kravtsov presented a multimedia pop-up project, Faced2Faced, as part of the special program at the 58th Venice Biennale.[36][37]

In 2018, Volkov's fund SDG Arts & Science Foundation partnered with the Educational Center of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. On 28 November 2019, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art launched the exhibition "This Is Not a Book. Collection of Dmitriy Volkov. The story of a man, his art and library." This exhibition became a part of the museum's educational program.[38][39]

Academic activity[edit]

Academic career[edit]

In 1998, he graduated from the History Department of Moscow State University (MSU) and later took the postgraduate programme in International relations in IMEMO.[6] In 2003, he enrolled at the Philosophy Department of MSU, and later took a graduate program in philosophy. In 2008, he defended PhD thesis with "D. Dennett's theory of consciousness"as the subject.[40] In 2009, he became one of the founders of MCCS at the Philosophy Department of Moscow State University. The Center supports and facilitates studies in the fields of philosophy of mind, personal identity, free will and moral responsibility.[6] In 2012, he published the book "Boston zombie: D.Dennett and his theory of consciousness."[41] In 2014, he became a member of the American Philosophical Association.[42] The international scientific conference "Problems of Consciousness and Free Will in Analytical Philosophy" was held during the expedition.[6][43] In 2017, Dmitriy Volkov defended his Dr. Habil. thesis on "Problems of free will and moral responsibility in analytic philosophy in late XX – early XXI century".[44] In February 2019, Volkov published his second book, "Free Will: Illusion or Opportunity".

In August 2023 he organised the Summer Philosophy School "Metaphysics of Uploading" in Palermo, Italy.[45]

Research and main ideas[edit]

In his book "Boston Zombie: D. Dennett and his Theory of Consciousness," Dmitriy Volkov criticized the arguments of Dennett, Searle and Vasiliev on intentionality and mental causation. He analyzed the Multiple Drafts Model proposed by Dennett and his critique of the "Cartesian theater" and the project of disqualifying qualia. Volkov provided counterarguments against Dennett's thought experiments. The book also addresses the concept of the Self as the center of narrative gravity. According to Sergey Merzlyakov, a scholar of the Scientific Research Lab of the MSU Economics Department, Volkov's book is the most complete and accurate research of Dennett's theory of consciousness.[46]

Major works[edit]

  • Free will in R. Kane's libertarianism D. B. Volkov. Moscow University Bulletin. Series 7: Philosophy. 2015. no. 6. P. 32-51.
  • About organizing the Greenland conference "Problems of consciousness and free will in analytical philosophy" D. B. Volkov, D. Dennett. Moscow University Bulletin. Series 7: Philosophy. 2015. no. 6. P. 3-7.
  • Does causal trajectory argument of V. V. Vasiliev disprove local supervenience of mental nature over physical nature? D. B. Volkov. Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. 2015. V. 2. P. 166—182. 2
  • What do manipulations with D. Pereboom's "Manipulation argument" prove? D. B. Volkov. Philosophy and Culture. 2015. No. 6. P. 933—942. 0
  • Boston zombie. D. Dennett and his theory of consciousness. D. B. Volkov. Moscow, 2011. Ser. Philosophy of consciousness
  • "D. Dennett's theory of consciousness". D. B. Volkov. Thesis for a Candidate Degree in Philosophical Sciences / Moscow State University. Moscow 2008
  • Disputes on consciousness and analytical philosophy. D. B. Volkov. Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. 2007. V. 13. No. 3. P. 176—181.
  • Inconsistency of manipulation arguments and disappearing agent for the problem of free will and moral responsibility. D. B. Volkov. Problems of Philosophy 2017. No. 6. P. 29-38.
  • What do Russian philosophers think about? Internet survey results. D. B. Volkov. Moscow University Bulletin. Series 7: Philosophy. 2017. no. 6. P. 84-116.
  • Solution of the mental causality in biological naturalism of J. Searle. D. B. Volkov. Philosophical thought. 2017. No. 2. P. 1-12.
  • Free will: new turns of old discussion D. B. Volkov. Philosophy Journal. 2017. V. 10. No. 1. P. 58-77.
  • "Thesis on Consciousness" and moral responsibility in researches of Neil Levy. D. B. Volkov. Logos. 2016. V. 26. No. 5. P. 213—226.
  • Exclusion argument of J. Kim and problem of mental causality. D. B. Volkov. Moscow University Bulletin. Series 7: Philosophy. 2016. no. 6. P. 15-32.
  • Narrative approach as the solution to the problem of personal identity. D. B. Volkov. St. Petersburg State University Bulletin. 2016. V. 17. No. 4. P. 21-32.
  • Problem of mental causality: Overview of the latest researches. D. B. Volkov. Philosophy and Culture. 2016. No. 6. P. 673 −682.
  • Problem of free will. Overview of the key researches of the late XX – early XXI century in analytical philosophy. D. B. Volkov. Philosophy Journal. M.: The RAS Institute of Philosophy. 2016. V. 9. No. 3. P. 175—189.
  • Review of a 2014 D. Pereboom's book "Free will". D. B. Volkov. Tomsk University Bulletin. Philosophy. Sociology. Politology. 2016. No. 4. P. 404 −409.
  • Are psychopaths morally responsible persons? D. B. Volkov. Tomsk University Bulletin. Philosophy. Sociology. Politology. 2016. No. 2(34). P. 212 −222.
  • Chinese room. Date compote. 2015. No. 8.
  • Where am I? Incredible figures of D. Dennett. D. B. Volkov. Philosophy of consciousness. Analytical tradition. 3rd Gryaznov's readings. Materials of the *International Scientific Conference. 2009.
  • Strong version of artificial intelligence. D. B. Volkov. Philosophy of consciousness: classics and modernity: 2nd Gryaznov's readings. 2007.
  • Free will: Illusion or opportunity. Dmitriy Volkov. Moscow 2018.
  • The Conscious Mind: In search of a Fundamental Theory. Translation from English / published with participation of Moscow consciousness research center. Moscow, 2013. Ser. Philosophy of consciousness (editor)


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  44. ^ Волков, Дмитрий Борисович (21 November 2017). Проблема свободы воли и моральной ответственности в аналитической философии конца XX – начала XXI вв (Thesis) – via www.dissercat.com.
  45. ^ ""Metaphysics of Uploading": filosofi di fama mondiale discutono sul futuro della mente umana".
  46. ^ "Новые книги по философии сознания на русском языке". cyberleninka.ru.

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